KE6005 - Geographies of (P)leisure, Tolerance and Disgust (Amsterdam)

What will I learn on this module?

As the title suggests, on this module you will learn about the inter-relationships between notions of pleasure, tolerance and disgust, together with geographies of difference, inclusion and exclusion, order and disorder, and the social and cultural construction of boundaries in western society. The module relates anthropological and psychoanalytical theory to the social and spatial exclusion of minority groups. In particular we will focuse on the social construction different spaces as sites of inclusion, exclusion and social conflict. It is delivered through a combination of lectures, videos, discussions and seminars, alongside a compulsory, self-financed field-trip to Amsterdam. Primarily you will also learn a lot about yourself on this module but particularly how you construct and negotiate difference and otherness in your everyday life. You will also develop your ability to apply your disciplinary knowledge to some quite complex social problems (e.g. the regulation of sex work) in the real world and explore a range of alternative solutions which are practical and socially justifiable.

How will I learn on this module?

The key emphasis of this module is experiential learning. You will be encouraged to engage directly and personally with complex issues of inclusion and exclusion and the role that disgust plays in constructing your own geographies of difference, order and disorder. You will learn through a combination of lectures, videos, group discussions and seminars, together with your first-hand field experiences in Amsterdam. The learning and teaching delivery strategy for this module is actually intended to be fairly ‘weakly classified and framed’(cf Bernstein, 1967, 1970, 1971) allowing for some flexibility of form and style of delivery and maximising the opportunities for student participation and engagement. We also incorporate a range of teaching and learning media on this module encouraging the use of technology and social media (#ptdam) to enable broader engagement with the module themes and associated social issues. Dependent on the timing of the field-trip, lectures and seminars tend to be slightly ‘front-loaded’ into the first half of the semester to provide a firm and wide-ranging grounding in key theoretical material before the actual field trip experience. There are normally, two sessions per week in the general format of a 2 hour lecture followed by a 1 hour discussion/seminar/video . All of the different learning environments we incorporate on the module are designed to make you confront some quite complex and difficult moral/social issues and you will be encouraged to reflect critically upon them and to develop your own reasoned position based on reading, application of theory and critical thinking. The nature of the assessment on this module and your experiential learning in the field are designed to encourage you to develop key transferrable skills such as critical self-reflection, self-management, independent thinking, and communication skills all of which will help enhance your future employability.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The tutors on this modules will provide a carefuly designed framework of support to you in the process of completing your reflexive journals. We recognise that this innovative form of assessment and style of writing may be unfamiliar to some students and so we provide an opportunity for all students to submit a draft journal entry and to receive formative feedback on this. We also organise a reflexive journal writing workshop in which we look at past examples of best practice and discuss the qualities we are looking for in good reflexive journal and how these relate directly to the criteria for assessment.
There is also an opportunity for one-to-one sessions (via the Department’s open door policy) and in addition tutors will use the module’s discussion board at the University’s eLearning Portal to respond to questions so that the whole group can benefit. Time will be set aside in lectures/seminars and on the fieldtrip to provide opportunities for Q&A on assignments and formative feedback.
All your learning will be supported through resources made available on the module ELP

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MLO 1: You will analyse the construction of social and spatial boundaries in western society and illustrate these in the context of a western European city
• MLO 2: You will evaluate the role that leisure and tourism play in (re) creating spaces of tolerance, intolerance, desire and disgust In the context of a western European city.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO 3: You will review and evaluate the merits of contrasting theories and concepts (including scientific, anthropological, and psychoanalytical approaches) for understanding the social and spatial exclusion of minority groups in western society

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO 4: You will reflexively synthesise and relate module material to your own 'real life' experiences and in doing so reflect upon your own potential to act upon your informed concern about sources of inequality, difference and exclusion in the world.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed on this module via a 6000 word reflexive journal (KU1&2, IPSA1, PVA1). This is worth 100% of the module mark. This form of assessment is used because the module is designed to call into question the relationship between your self and culturally constructed others (both symbolically and materially). Your journal should be used to think through reactions to the module and the associated reading making links to your everyday life experiences and those encountered on the field-trip to Amsterdam. You will be encouraged to discuss and reflect upon past experiences, and how you see yourself in the context of the material discussed in the module. In addition, in writing this journal you are encouraged to express and think through ideas that you may have been reluctant to bring up in class and to creatively express yourself.
This form of assessment is designed to encourage you to view learning and assessment as a process rather than a one-off, end product. If you engage fully with it then you will get far more from this process than just a grade.


Social Geographies



Module abstract

Consistently praised by students and external examiners, this module is about far more than just a residential field trip to one of Europe’s most socially liberal and architecturally stunning cities, Amsterdam. This module is about you, your life and how you deal with disgust, desire, difference and disorder on a daily basis. We will explore the social and spatial processes of exclusion of minority groups and sub-cultural activities in our society. The module content and method of assessment is designed to directly challenge you, forcing you to question yourself and your attitudes towards complex issues. You will learn and practice new transferrable skills, such as reflexive writing and critical thinking, and develop key personal attributes, such as tolerance and empathetic understanding, these will enhance your employability and help you in later life. The teaching on this module is research-led and you will engage in your own experiential research through field work.

Course info

UCAS Code L700

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022 or September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.


Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at

Admissions Terms and Conditions -
Fees and Funding -
Admissions Policy -
Admissions Complaints Policy -